USS Hartford repairs to cost $37 million


An avoidable collision between a US nuclear submarine and amphibious assault ship in the Strait of Hormuz in March will cost American taxpayers $37.4 million in repairs to the underwater craft alone.

General Dynamics Electric Boat says it has been awarded a contract to perform material procurement and repair work on the USS Hartford (SSN-768), a Los Angeles-class attack submarine damaged in a collision with the USS New Orleans (LPD-18) on March 20.

Under the contract, a modification of which was announced last week, GD Electric Boat will perform off-hull fabrication of the port retractable bow plane as well as material procurement and off-hull fabrication of the sail to restore USS Hartford to full-service condition.

Work is expected to be completed by January 2010.

The contract initially was awarded May 21.

The collision was the second major accident involving the Hartford. She had run aground near La Maddalena, Sardinia in October 2003, suffering “severe damage” to her rudders, sonar and other electronic equipment. That incident cost $9 million in repairs.

In the latest incident, the New Orleans, a new San Antonio class ship only commissioned in 2007, suffered a ruptured a fuel tank.

The Hartford sustained damage to her sail, periscope and port bow plane. As was the case after the 2003 incident, the boat`s skipper was sacked.

The US Navy announced April 14 that Commander Ryan Brookhart had been relieved of duty because his superiors had lost confidence in his ability to command.